Business Spotlight – Switchgrass as Bio-fuel
As with the other business tours, I met an interesting resident of the 147th District. Frank McDonnell of Upper Hanover Township is a leader in the study and application of switchgrass as a bio-fuel. Frank and his family have dedicated many years to the study, including growing and processing switchgrass as an alternative energy source.

Recently, the Montgomery County division of the Penn State Ag Extension Services hosted a Farm Energy Field Day at Frank’s farm, and I had the pleasure to learn about switchgrass and other bio-fuels being studied and tested. During the Field Day, seminars were presented on a number of agriculture-related processes being tested as alternative energy fuel sources: switchgrass, wood crops, solar energy and oil seeds. Also during the event, attendees had the opportunity to tour Frank’s farm and view a switchgrass field in production.

These endeavors by farmers and agricultural scientists help to reduce our need for oil as the exclusive energy fuel source. They also bring a potential new venture to our agricultural business sector.

For more information on bio-fuels and the agricultural community, contact Andrew Frankenfield, Montgomery County Penn State Ag Extension Services Ag Educator, at 610-489-4315.

I’ll be visiting a business each week for my Business Spotlight! It’s a one-on-one tour with me so I can learn more about the many wonderful businesses we have in the 147th District. The business must be in the 147th District to be eligible. If you’d like your business to be featured, please contact Bill at or by phone at 215-679-3082 so we can schedule a tour.